by Anura Guruge
It is remiss of me to rave about “The Brigadoons“, by far my all time favorite performance group at the ‘Highland Games‘, without giving a nod to Paddy Kelly — another one of their maestros and Denis Carr’s sidekick (though I have yet to see Denis actually try to kick him). Suffice to say, like everybody who has ever been involved with “The Brigadoons”, he is incredibly talented and, moreover, a really nice person.
So I want to give him a plug — not that he needs any help from me. He is in “The Glengarry Celtic Hall of Fame“, as of 2007, along with Rob Taylor (2004), “The Brigadoons” as a group (2006), Dennis Carr (2013) et. al.
So do yourself a FAVOR and check Paddy Kelly out. Listen to his tracks. BUY THE CDs. Like him on Facebook. You will THANK ME for bringing him into YOUR life. He will enliven and enrich it. It is people like Paddy that pope’s refer to as ‘Salt of the Earth’. They make the World go around that much more smoothly.
Thank you Paddy. Thank you “The Brigadoons”.
Click to ENLARGE.
by Anura Guruge
>> “Popes: 101 Facts & Trivia” available.
>> “John XXIII”: 4 star review by ‘Vine Voice’
>> “John XXIII”: #12 for Church Leaders
>> Just approved paperback version
>> “Pope John XXIII: 101 Facts & Trivia Book”
++++ Search on ‘pope‘ & check Category ‘Religion’ for loads of other pope related posts >>>>
I had a (nice) e-mail about “this” from a reader yesterday. He was concerned as to what would happen when (my MAN), (still) My Lord Tarcisio Bertone (of the multimillion dollar penthouse) turns 80 on December 2, 2014 and thus ceases to be an elector.
The short answer is: NOTHING.
Though it will be a FIRST there is nothing in Canon Law, papal edicts, Vatican lore or College of Cardinals’ tradition that says that there has to be Cardinal Bishops at a conclave to make it legit.
As far as I can see we have NEVER had a conclave without cardinal bishops. But that doesn’t mean that a conclave couldn’t happen if all the cardinal bishops were ineligible (or incapable) of attending. I started with the 9 cardinal conclave that I talk about in my latest pope book: “Popes: 101 Facts & Trivia“. There were two cardinal bishops at that conclave. Prior to the 80-year cut-off kicking-in in 1971 there was no impediments to Cardinal Bishops participating in conclaves (other than political coercion). With up to 6 cardinal bishops present, at any one time, at least one of two always made it to a conclave. Cardinal Bishop vacancies, prior to 1961 when John XXIII (#262) changed the rules, didn’t last for long because jus optionis permitted rules permitted the senior most cardinal to make a grab for it. So cardinal bishops being unable to attend conclaves ONLY became an issue post 1971 — and so far we have always managed to have some representation.
That is one of the lesser appreciated beauties of the College of Cardinals. The three hierarchical orders, cardinal bishops, cardinal priests and cardinals deacons, are PURELY ceremonial — and, yes, conclaves are when the ceremonies hit a crescendo. But we also have the sacrosanct ‘Order of Precedence’ when it comes to the College. And that is the key. No bishops … let the precedence play its role.
So was the uninitiated here is the issue. You can only have six (6) suburbicarian Cardinal Bishops — because we only have seven (7) suburbicarian (i.e., suburbs surrounding Rome) titles, and one of those, Ostia, is always given to the Dean in ADDITION to his other suburbicarian see title. While popes can easily create new Roman titles (for cardinal priests) and ‘deaconries’ (for cardinal deacons) they can’t really, without appearing to be mighty presumptuous, create NEW suburbicarian sees. The 7 we have date back to 769 CE. So there is a BIT of history here. Creating a new suburbicarian see would be a BIG deal — kind of like reenacting the Resurrection. Unlikely that even Francis would want to mess with that.
Yes, of course, one of these elderly cardinals might decide that it really was time for them to “go to their father’s house” — which is the terminology they use. Plus there is, always, what I call ‘Option B’, though the Vatican, ‘of late’, appears to be VERY skittish about opting for this option — something that they routinely resorted to during the Middle Ages.
No big deal. I, as ever, anticipating these eventualities covered it in my “Last 10 Conclaves” book, last year.
by Anura Guruge
There is an inherent, potentially lethal — and likely to be very bloody —
flaw in any and all fingerprint ONLY based security schemes.
I won’t go into the gory details and hope that my graphic above conveys
the real horror that can lie ahead.
I first heard about fingerprint-based security in 1975 — that is 39 years ago. I was working for IBM. This was at the height of IBM’s antitrust woes and security, physical security to thwart industrial espionage (and possibly ‘the government’), was a very real and pressing concerns. We already had, at IBM locations, magnetic badge-based entry systems — replete with cameras. Fingerprint-based entry systems came up, in 1975, as a way of further enhancing physical security, in terms of authenticated entry into the buildings. There was a meeting about this and other possible security enhancements — another being the possibility of us using ‘handcuffed’ briefcases when carrying sensitive documents around (especially in London). We had a ‘couple’ (maybe more) ‘experts’ from the U.S. to talk to us (the ‘country bumpkins’ in Hursley) about the latest and greatest technological breakthroughs in the ‘motherland’.
So they were waxing lyrical about the benefits of moving to fingerprint-based entry and doing away with the magnetic-stripe badges (from the Stone Ages). I, always a good IMBer, listened. But this did not sit well with me. I was still young (21), impetuous and restless. Something bothered me. So I stood up and asked: “somebody could cut off my finger and then use it to get in … right?”. The room went very quiet. Everybody turned around to look at me. The speaker, from the U.S., on the stage, looked at me with his mouth slightly agape. He didn’t answer. Just kept looking at me. Then you got that ‘rustle’ of whispers that you get when people in an audience start whispering to each other. The speaker eventually said “lets move on”. My question was never answered BUT we all knew what the answer was. Suffice to say we didn’t get a fingerprint-based entry system.
People, at IBM, always looked at me funny since then. But the point had been made. I did go onto dabble in security, at IBM — given that I was given plenty of latitude to do my own thing. That is how I ended up coming up with “Product Key-based Software Validation”. You know that annoying scheme where you have to type in serial numbers to activate software. The origins of that were invented by me, while at IBM, and IBM, as was their right, got the rights to it.
OK. There are ways to safeguard against the DETACHED FINGER threat. One scheme that I had proposed was to combine the fingerprint recognition with some type of temperature sensing. But that is not foolproof (even per IBM’s adage of “you can’t make anything foolproof BECAUSE fools are so ingenious). Today, I guess, you could couple it with Pulse Oximetry — i.e., check for oxygen levels in the finger.
The BEST safeguard, as ever, is to ALWAYS insist on
But people don’t like that. TWO-FACTOR authentication would involve having to type in a PIN or password AFTER the fingerprint is scanned.
A fingerprint, from an authentication standpoint, is but a TOKEN. A physical thing that you posses to prove PARTIAL ownership. That is what a credit/debit card is. A physical TOKEN. Two-Factor comes in with the PIN. You have to have BOTH — not just one.
So this is JUST a heads up from somebody that raised this issue 39 years ago.
OF COURSE it all depends at what is at stake.
So what do YOU think that YOUR finger might be worth, on a dark street …
You have been given a Heads Up.
P.S., This is also the reason I am NOT in favor of implanting identification (RFID) chips in children. Yes, they will be BRILLIANT 98% of the time and be a real, real boon. I just fear the 2% of the time when a crazy person will go trying to DIG OUT the chip from the child. Somebody has to think of these worst case scenarios. And I DO. That was part of my job.
“Chicago and North Western” & “Southern Pacific” N-Gauge Train Sets, With Locomotives, Listed On eBay.
by Anura Guruge
>> N-Gauge 2-8-8-2 ‘Big Boy’
++++ Search ‘trains‘ for many other related posts >>>>
Click to ENLARGE.
I came across these two N-gauge train sets in our storage area the other day. I kind of knew I had them (and that Matthew had brought over most of our N-gauge stash a few years ago). But I had kind of forgotten about them. I do remember buying them. Bought them at the annual train show that used to be held in the Summer in Wolfeboro, N.H. at the Kingswood High School. It was probably 1995 or 1996. Matthew was 3 or 4 at the time. I was into N-gauge at the time — but kind of like now it was more a case of buying ‘kit’ for future use as opposed to actually running them. I eventually did build a fairly big set for Matthew but that was in the late 1990s.
These train sets have not been used in over a decade and in reality have seen very little use. I thought about keeping them — for the future — but the futility of that crept in. I don’t even use my existing Z-gauge and that whole setup is slowly falling apart. Plus I am running out of space. So decided to do the correct thing and TRY and sell them. They should be used and I might as well spend money on my latest ‘hobby’ (at least for the next few months) the Canon T3i camera.
I did sell that damaged N-gauge 2-8-8-2 ‘Big Boy’ (though I still have an undamaged one) and the person that bought it was very happy and thanked me multiple times. So there is a precedent. I won’t sell all my trains. That would be too hard. But these two sets need to go to a good home.